Printable Version
Pronunciation: dis-grênt-êl Hear it!

Part of Speech: Verb, transitive

Meaning: To cause someone to be grumpy, to sulk; to generally put someone in ill humor.

Notes: Here is a sort of Orphan Negative. There is a verb to gruntle, but it has the same meaning as disgruntle, so it is not exactly derivationally related. It does have a derivationally related noun, disgruntlement, and an adjective, disgruntling. So, you may feel free to used this word without the prefix, dis-, but don't expect to be understood.

In Play: Almost anyone finds losing a game a little disgruntling: "When Hugh Jeego lost the croquet match, he repaired to his room somewhat disgruntled." Anything that upsets you disgruntles you: "Do you think I disgruntled Blanche Dwight by telling her that her wig was askew?"

Word History: As mentioned above, etymologically today's Good Word is based on gruntle "to grumble, grunt", usually used to describe animal noises. In fact, this word goes back to grunt + the archaic diminutive suffix -le. This means it originally meant "to grunt a little". It is related to German grunzen and Danish grynte "to grunt". There is also a Latin word, grundire "to grunt" and a Greek relative gruzein "to grunt", so we must have inherited it from Proto-Indo-European. (Lest we disgruntle Kathleen McCune of Norway, let us now thank her profusely for suggesting today's very Good Word.)

Dr. Goodword,

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